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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 THE HON MATT THISTLETHWAITE MP
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR IMMIGRATION
MEMBER FOR KINGSFORD SMITH

 

JULIE BISHOP’S AID CUTS HIT RED CROSS HARD

A Red Cross Volunteer program that supported maternal and child health, schooling and disaster relief in some of the world’s poorest countries has been forced to shut down because of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s more than $11 billion in aid cuts.

The Red Cross reportedly said that “because of this significant cut in funding, Australian Red Cross has decided to exit the Australian Volunteers for International Development program over the next year…this has been a very difficult decision.”

The outstanding work of Red Cross’ Australian Volunteers for International Development program included:

  • improving maternal and child health in Cambodian hospitals
  • working with special needs children in schools in Kenya and Bhutan
  • providing better water and sanitation services in Timor-Leste.

This is just the latest example of the human cost of Julie Bishop’s aid cuts. It comes after announcements by World Vision, Oxfam and Plan that some of their important programs will also be axed because of the cuts. Sadly, the scale of Ms Bishop’s cuts means there will be much more bad news to come.

Julie Bishop now presides over the weakest foreign aid program in Australian history.

Because of Ms Bishop’s cuts, by 2016 Australia will spend just 22 cents in every $100 of our national income on foreign aid – our lowest spend ever. Over the next decade, that is set to fall further to 17 cents in every $100.